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Summer in the city: Making it memorable

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

As we sit in the third week of July, summer is well underway. One of the sad realities about the summer season is there never seems to be enough time to do everything on one’s bucket list, and the days seem to roll by quicker than in the winter, spring or fall.

Even with this in mind, there is still plenty to do across Oshawa before the calendar flips over to September.

One of the signature local events that has passed by already is Fiesta Week, which celebrates the best of culture in the city, starting off with the Father’s Day Fiesta Parade. During the week-long celebration, patrons can taste the delicacies of the world at a number of pavilions, ranging from Italian to Polish to French.

The colours from nations across the world are also proudly waved throughout the community.

Speaking of colour, Oshawa’s Peony Festival celebrated its 15th anniversary in June, marking the biggest and brightest iteration of the popular event, which has been named one of the top 100 across Ontario the past few years.

Hosted at the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens, the event showcases more than 300 varieties in the garden.

Highlights include the Canadian Peony Society judged show, children’s activities, a photo and art contest, and a wine garden hosted by Bistro 67 from Durham College.

The colours of Canada’s maple leaf were also proudly displayed at Lakeview Park during the 152nd celebration of Canada’s Confederation on July 1.

Canadians of all ages and backgrounds flocked to the beach area to show their pride in their nation, and to enjoy a poutine or ice cream cone here and there.

These are just a few of the events that have been enjoyed across the city as the temperatures have risen.

After what seemed like an endless spring, the summer weather has not disappointed but there are still many great events to enjoy over the next few months.

Concerts in the Park recently returned to Memorial Park in the downtown core, with the Professors of Funk playing on July 4, and Matt Doran, Luxury Park, and Barbara Lynn Doran on July 11.

The upcoming schedule features a wide variety of genres ranging from country to classic rock to Motown and everything in between.

The concerts take place every Thursday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Memorial Park bandshell.

The summer months are the perfect time to pull the canvas off that classic car and take it for a ride around town.

There are plenty of opportunities for car enthusiasts to show off their prized possessions.

The Oshawa Downtown BIA hosts a weekly “show and shine” that runs every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to dusk at Oshawa City Hall, 50 Centre Street South.

This event runs throughout the summer until the first Wednesday after Labour Day.

If newer models are more of one’s style, then the BIA’s Kars on King is worth checking out.

Held on Friday, Aug. 23, King Street will be lined from top to bottom with models from 1987 and later.

There is also live entertainment and the always popular “Touch-A-Truck” event at the Tribute Communities Centre.

But that’s not all for the weekend, as the 26th annual Autofest, presented by the Motor City Car Club, returns to Lakeview Park on Aug. 24 and Aug. 25.

The weekend is chock-full of events for the entire family, including a show and shine, vendor’s row, and a challenging Poker Run.

To wrap things up is the Mackie Transport Parade of Winners and cash prizes, and the Oshawa West Lions 50/50 draw.

It’s quite an amazing sight to see all the classic cars lined up through Lakeview Park, and car enthusiasts should make sure to bring their camera because there will be plenty of photo opportunities.

If rides of the two-wheel variety are more of your thing, then check out Bikes on Bond, the Downtown Oshawa BIA’s motorcycle-themed counterpart to Kars on King.

One of the largest motorcycle events in Ontario, riders come together into the downtown core and display their rides.

The show also offers live entertainment, vendors and of course, a show and shine.

Bikes on Bond returns for its 8th year on Saturday, Aug. 10.

For music lovers, the Crossing Point Festival returns for the second year, taking place at Memorial Park on Saturday, July 27.

The festival, headlined by The Wooden Sky, features an eclectic lineup of musicians.

New this year, organizers have added a “rock & roll after-party” for ages 19 and up at the Oshawa Music Hall.

A unique element to the Crossing Point Festival is free admission for children 12 and under when accompanied by an adult.

For those with big appetites and bigger stomachs, the 18th annual Rotary Ribfest from Aug. 16 to 18 will be marked on their calendars.

The event offers eight rib-makers from across North America, along with 65 vendors, a weekend of live entertainment and other attractions.

Taking place at Lakeview Park, the weekend offers one of the most unique “Ribfest” experiences in the GTA.

These events are just a small sample of the long list of things to do in Oshawa this summer and there are many more across the entire region.

For the kids, organizations such as the Oshawa Museum and Oshawa Public Library offer activities all throughout the summer.

There are also many recreational programs, such as swimming, offered through city facilities, as well as pools and splash pads to cool off in the summer heat.

Wherever your path leads you this summer, remember to enjoy and not to regret sitting on the couch when 12:01 a.m. hits the day after Labour Day Monday.